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How to Measure the Success of Posts on Instagram

image credit: AM Knizek photo

When it comes to Instagram content, posts are created to serve different purposes.

That means each post should be measured differently, as well.

So why do we spend so much time torturing ourselves when we don’t get the likes, comments, and follows we wished for?

We drive ourselves nuts because we judge the performance of a post only on the vanity metrics such as likes, comments, and follows. While these metrics do matter, they aren’t always the most important to gauge the success of your content.

The Four Most Common Types of Instagram Posts & How To Evaluate Them

Not all posts are created equal. You can group most content into four main buckets.

  • Engagement-oriented
  • Value-rich
  • Brand builders
  • Sales-focused

Each type of content tells a different story and has a different goal in mind. For each piece of content, your audience is taking action differently, and you should gauge success accordingly.

Engagement-Oriented Posts

Ever notice how some posts tend to drive you more engagement? You might even have a list of topics you know do well. If not, this is a habit you can start building.

Engagement-oriented posts are geared towards growth due to their highly shareable nature and sometimes viral performance.

They can include things such as strong industry opinions, trending conversation topics, or pulling from one of those topics on your list that do well. This content type is best measured by vanity metrics such as likes, comments, follows, and any additional reach if you made it to the explore page.

Educational Value

It’s time to get rid of the scarcity mindset and give all the value you can.

Educational value posts help cement you in people’s minds as the go-to person for what you do. This content eventually is what establishes you as the authority within your space and the clear choice for your dream clients.

Content that falls under educational value umbrella can include tutorials, slideshow posts, helpful IGTV content, mini trainings on your stories, using the “join chat” button on stories, or anything that gives your audience the topics they want to learn about.

Judge this content primarily by the amount of saves, shares, quality of the comments, and DMs received.

This especially important as a smaller page where growth isn’t always so quick.

Growth on social media is exponential anyway. This means, the bigger your follower base gets the quicker it grows. But until then (and even once you get there) place more value in judging the quality of the feedback rather than receiving a ton of random emoji comments.

At the end of the day, you run a business. Higher follower counts or comments doesn’t always translate into more money.

Brand Builders

Education is great, but you are so much more than that.

Brand building posts breathe life into your page. This type of content covers your personality, story, values, and emotions that you want associated with your brand. Being the go-to resource is the goal but it’s undeniable that establishing a deeper, more memorable, connection further expedites the development of trust between you and your soon-to-be client.

These posts are more flexible on how they can be measured but you can gauge it by the quality of the comments received, DMs from people saying it resonated with them, and shares to their story.


Of course we all want to make money. So we throw in a sales post into the mix of our content.

We’ve gotten people engaged, they’re getting educational value, they’re connecting with us, so then we can intelligently position our solutions that will somehow make their lives easier.

Sales focused posts tease a launch, pitch something , or even shed a light on a strong stance you have in your industry that sets you apart from others. These posts usually get much lower engagement than the rest of your content.

But don’t be discouraged, because that’s not their purpose.

The success of these posts, in combination with other factors in your marketing, is best measured by new leads in your DMs, comments, and emails or actual sales generated.

In addition to measuring performance using these metrics, don’t forget to be social.

People are often quick to blame the algorithm for any dip in engagement. The truth is that the algorithm rewards those who use the platform consistently, implement all its features, and are actively engaging with others.

It’s not just about making great content but also creating opportunities to develop more relationships to get more eyeballs on your content. Did I miss any types of popular types of instagram posts?

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